Thursday, August 30, 2007

Night Life - review

Author: Ray Garton

First Published: 2007

Contains spoilers

The blurb: Davey Owen is a man with a death sentence. Nearly twenty years and a lifetime ago, Davey battled a circle of vampires and survived… forever changed. Many of the vampires were destroyed, but the ones who escaped have been hunting Davey ever since. Now they’ve found him. The passing years have only intensified their thirst for revenge, and at last their prey is within sight. They will make sure that this time he does not escape. They will not rest until Davey pays for what he did to them. With the last drop of blood.

The review: This is the sequel to Live Girls and the main reason for reproducing the blurb above is that it flirts with the storyline. It doesn’t mislead too much, as some blurbs do, but neither does it accurately describe the story.

The book does concern Davey and his wife Casey, both survivors of Live Girls and both vampires. However in the first instance it concerns Martin Burgess, a horror writer who hires two private eyes, Karen Moffett and Gavin Keoph, to investigate the truth about vampires. He has been fascinated since reading the article that Walter Benedek wrote about his experiences with Live Girls. Trouble is Benedek is in hiding and all trails seem dead.

Unfortunately the vampires have noticed Burgess’ interest and as the trail leads the PIs to, first, Benedek and then Davey those vampires decide they are too close to the truth. Some of those vampires, known as brutals, were involved in Live Girls but their actions against Davey are more to do with the new investigation.

The storyline is somewhat similar to that of Live Girls, in formula at least, but has been transplanted from New York to LA. However the big difference is the vast vista of vampire society that Garton creates in this volume. In the first book the vampires could have been restricted both in numbers and location but in this we discover a whole, hidden, second civilisation below the surface of that we know.

The vampires can be loosely split into two groups. Those like Davey, who do not hunt, drink bottled blood and try to merge with human society and those brutals who hunt and jealously guard their secrets. The brutals hate the peaceful vampires and also enjoy victimising their prey.

We discover a world of crime, where kidnapped human women are forced, under mind control, to participate in vicious adult movies before being fed on. Where the vampires have ties in with the police and, it seems, almost every strata of society.

It is within the widening of the vampires’ world, plus the use of characters we are already familiar with and thus care about, that this book finds its strengths and pushes it slightly above the original.

7.5 out of 10.

No comments: